Documents Unveil Disturbing Ties Between Doctors and Vaginal Mesh Manufacturers

Ennis & Ennis reports that discovery in the vaginal mesh lawsuits currently pending in the MDL No. 2327 has revealed some disturbing relationships between pelvic mesh manufacturers and certain physicians.
 
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - March 28, 2014 - PRLog -- Ongoing discovery in the vaginal mesh lawsuits currently pending in the MDL No. 2327 has revealed some disturbing relationships between pelvic mesh manufacturers and certain physicians.  Thousands of claims have been consolidated in the U.S. District Court in West Virginia for common discovery proceedings.  These pretrial proceedings have produced internal documents, which question the influence that mesh manufacturers had over the medical community.

         According to the Wall Street Journal, an ethical concern may exist concerning the relationship between Johnson & Johnson (the parent company of Ethicon) and Dr. Vincent Lucente. The urogynocologist earned over $800,000 as a paid consultant for Ethicon over a ten-year period.  In 2007, Pelvic Organ Prolapse was treated with traditional surgery, but new vaginal mesh products were being promoted as a superior method to repair the condition. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists  (ACOG) wanted to label transvaginal mesh products as “experimental.”  However, J & J was in the midst of launching its new Ethicon Gynecare mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse and wanted nothing to impede the launch of its product.

Discovery in the Ethicon mesh litigation unveiled internal documents that Dr. Lucente as a paid consultant for Ethicon and J&J, strongly lobbied the ACOG to delete the term “experimental” in its published guidelines. The ACOG was inundated with letters, emails and phone calls from Dr. Lucente and other physicians clamoring for the omission of the word.  Finally the ACOG succumbed and dropped the term from its product labeling of vaginal mesh kits.

Although J&J denies its involvement, court documents suggest that Dr. Lucente was acting on behalf of Ethicon and J&J. Dr. Lucente wrote,” Note, no further use of the word experimental! Well this is one I’m taking credit for. I led the charge on this and never thought we would get a complete replacement of the earlier bulletin.”  Additional disturbing documents revealed in discovery show that J&J’s then medical director of Ethicon, David Robinson, admitted the manufacturer’s involvement with the ACOG stressing that their actions must remain hidden.

As this unsettling news is brought to light, the New England Journal of Medicine is set to challenge a subpoena concerning their testimony regarding J&J’s attempt to alter published research on pelvic mesh surgery.  Ennis and Ennis, P.A. continues to report all developments as they occur in the transvaginal mesh litigation and offers free, nationwide, confidential consultations to anyone who was injured by a transvaginal mesh device. Such devices include Ethicon’s’ Prolift, Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle and Uphold, American Medical Systems’ Elevate, Apogee and Perigee, C.R. Bard’s Avaulta and Pelvilace products, Caldera Medical’s Ascend, and other products manufactured by Mentor and Tyco Covidien by calling toll free 1-800-856-6405 or by going to www.ennislaw.com and completing an online case evaluation form.

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Holly Ennis
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Tags:Vaginal Mesh, Ennis, Lawsuit
Industry:Health
Location:Fort Lauderdale - Florida - United States
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